As predicted, the ripple effects of sequestration felt across the country have finally impacted Southeastern North Carolina. Local agencies are feeling the squeeze as the budget cuts under sequestration are higher than initially anticipated, jumping from single digit to double-digit percentage cuts. Also, as predicted, heretofore creative agency executive directors and leaders will have to become even more creative to stretch the dollar in an effort to service our growing population of seniors in this area. As the impacts unfurl, we will keep you posted.
Health care providers are also acutely affected by the effects of sequestration. Medicare beneficiary benefits are supposed to remain unchanged under sequestration, which is seemingly good news for us Medicare consumers. However, if you consider the downside — reimbursements to health care providers under Medicare will be reduced by approximately $11.1 billion through March 31, 2014 (according to the latest estimates from the White House Office of Management & Budget)– this may reduce the services offered by health care providers as well as the number of health care providers who treat Medicare beneficiaries.